Stortford golfer Max Hopkins wins Telegraph tournament in Portugal
Max Hopkins, the 14-year-old Bishop's Stortford Golf Club member, today (Friday) became the youngest boy ever to win the Telegraph Vitality Junior Golf Championship.
Sharing the lead at one under, after opening rounds of 71 and 72, going into the third and final round at Quinto do Lago on the sun-soaked Algarve in Portugal, he shot another 71 to win by three shots with a two-under total of 214.
His dad Pete, a teacher at Hockerill Anglo-European College, where Max is in Year 10, said: “He was even able to bogey the last and not worry about it.
“What an unbelievable result! Can’t wait to see him when he gets home tomorrow afternoon.”
The win crowns a remarkable year for Max, who had already been called up to the England under-18 boys’ squad.
The teenager, who a fortnight ago lost in a play-off on his home course in the Hertfordshire Boys’ Under-16s Championship, said after the second round: “To get here is such a great achievement anyway, but I knew I could definitely win it. It would be fantastic.”
The hugely talented youngster first swung a club before his second birthday and is the youngest member at BSGC, having been invited to join when he was just six.
Max won the US Kids Golf European Under-14 Boys’ Championship by three shots in May, before triumphing in the Faldo Series Under-16 Boys’ South of England Championships.
Seventh and second-place finishes respectively at the Scottish Under-16 Championships and England Under-16 Open followed, while Hertfordshire Under-18 Boys’ County Championship glory was his.
Arguably his best achievement was reaching the last 32 in the British Boys’ Championship at Nairn Dunbar, near Inverness, when he took on 256 of the best under-18 players in Europe.
Max, who plays alongside his sibling Jon in the Herts under-18 squad and BSGC’s men’s scratch team, stands another chance of title success in the Faldo Grand Series Final, in the United Arab Emirates, later this month.
Max lives with dad Pete, mum Mandy and brother Jon, who plays off scratch, in Elm Grove in Stortford. Jon, who in the summer finished his International Baccalaureate at Hockerill, is taking a gap year to concentrate on his game to see if he can earn a golf scholarship in the USA.